After a year of restrictions, many EU countries have now announced their rules for the Christmas period. Some are planning to relax the restrictions, while others will tighten them.
Here’s what some European countries have put in place:
Germany has been under tight lockdown restrictions since early November, which includes the closure of bars, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has already announced that the lockdown will continue over the Christmas period, with a slight relaxation of the current limits on social contact.
There will be a limit of five-people between 24th and 26th December. But, the Chancellor recommended a week of self-isolation beforehand.
The lockdown will continue until 10th January, New Year’s Eve included. This means public gatherings, drinking in public, and the sale of fireworks are all banned.
The Netherlands has started a second lockdown this week, with all public places, including schools, closing until 19th January. Households are also limited to two visitors over 13.
Between 24th and 26th December, the number of visitors allowed will be increased to three per household. However, people are advised not to travel and to avoid contact as much as possible.
The UK will be relaxing rules on social contact between 23rd and 27th December. During this time, people can meet with up to three households at home, outdoors, or in a place of worship.
People will be able to travel between regions. However, the current “tier” system means that most regions have strict restrictions including the closure of bars and restaurants.
The country’s full lockdown finished in early December. But, due to rises in social contact in December, most of the UK is still covered by regional restrictions on social contact.
In the Czech Republic, public places like restaurants, bars, hotels, and sports venues are due to close again this week, having reopened just over two weeks ago.
In addition to this, there will be much stricter limits on social contact. Public gatherings will be limited to just six people, rather than the previous limit of 10 indoors and 50 outdoors.
Shops will remain open during this time, although other businesses have been told to close and schools have closed early for Christmas to allow for self-isolation.
Earlier this week, President Emmanuel Macron lifted the six week ban on movement. However, a new curfew of 8pm-6am will be in force until mid-January, although this will be relaxed slightly on New Year’s Eve.
A limit of six adults is in place in private homes, and public places like cinemas, museums, restaurants, cafes, and theatres will remain closed until at least January.
Italy has seen a spike in new cases recently, with the highest number of deaths since March being recorded this month. This brings the total to over 65,000.
Over the Christmas period, there will be a ban on travelling to different regions between 21st December to 6th January. Additionally, people will be banned from leaving their hometowns on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, or New Year’s Day.
The current curfew of 10pm-5am will remain in place throughout. Although churches will remain open, traditional midnight mass will not be able to take place due to these rules.
Rome has announced it will impose a “red zone” lockdown from Christmas Eve until early January. This will mean the extension of night curfews, restrictions on movement, and the closure of all non-essential shops and other indoor public places.
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